Steven Koltai, A76, F78, E12P
HOME: Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Lincolnville, Maine
PROFESSION: Entrepreneur and “global entrepreneurship ecosystem builder. ” Past projects include cofounding SES Satellite, today the world’s largest commercial TV satellite system, and starting Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment/WB Online, the first online venture by a major studio.
BRED-IN-THE-BONE PASSION: International relations. “I was born in Budapest, under communism, to parents who had been children in the concentration camps of World War II. Our family emigrated to the United States in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. World history has been a prominent part of my personal history from the very beginning.”
RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENT: Creating the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) at the State Department and serving as its director until September 2011. The GEP, which aims to promote entrepreneurship in nations that are foreign policy priorities, was rolled out in Egypt before, during, and after Arab Spring. “Entrepreneurial spirit is as important to America’s DNA as democracy, respect for human rights, and love of freedom, and people everywhere admire it. Yet we’ve rarely used its appeal to improve our relationships with other countries. The GEP attempts to correct this mistake.”
IN THE WORKS: Leading a symposium on entrepreneurship as part of Tufts in Turkey, a program slated for late May in which Tufts trustees, faculty, alumni, and friends will join President Tony Monaco on a goodwill visit to Turkey.
DEFINING TRAITS: Curiosity, a love of people, a penchant for embracing every opportunity, and a drive to foster productive relationships far and wide.
PROUDEST MOMENT: “Walking on the Hill with my son, a Tufts senior.”
DEEPEST FEAR: “That I or my kids would ever have to go through what my parents and grandparents went through in World War II.”
WHAT HE CAN, AND DOES, DO IN HIS SLEEP: Talk. “My partner, Ivan, says I’m speaking Hungarian, but I doubt it. He’s always asleep himself when it happens.”
HIS EDUCATION: B.A. (history), M.A. (international economics), Tufts/Fletcher; Licence (as a Fulbright Scholar from Tufts), Université Libre de Bruxelles
Sheila Lyons, V85
HOME: Brockton, Massachusetts; Wellington, Florida
PROFESSION: Veterinarian specializing in equine sports medicine, physical medicine, rehabilitation, and podiatry. “I have no idea where it came from, but I recall telling Sister John Edith, my first-grade teacher, that I was going to be a horse doctor when I grew up. I stuck to it, despite her insistence that it was not a possibility.”
FOUNDER OF: Homecoming Farm, a nonprofit based in Brockton, Massachusetts, that conducts research worldwide in the emerging fields of equine physical medicine, rehabilitation, and sports medicine. Also founder of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, the educational branch of Homecoming Farm. Services include courses in equine health care as well as lectures, seminars, clinics, and internships for veterinary students, veterinarians, veterinary physical therapists, and farriers.
WHAT RILES HER: Performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing. “They need to be banned. Any business that uses animals must first and foremost ensure humane standards. I have spoken out on the issue before two U.S. attorneys general and a congressional subcommittee.”
WHAT AMAZES HER: The spirit and ingenuity of her patients. “One client had a dressage horse that would escape from his stall no matter how the door was secured. And then he’d go around to the other stalls and let out only those horses he liked so that they could join him in night grazing. It was like an episode of Mr. Ed.”
WHAT MAKES HER LAUGH: Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. “Jokes have to be based in truth to be funny to me.”
DEFINING TRAITS: Resilience, commitment, kindness, resourcefulness. Finds inspiration wherever she looks: in “great students and colleagues, radically responsible sport horse owners, and courageous people of all walks of life—from Norma Rae to Copernicus.” Finds peace of mind in Vermont, “the most beautiful and comforting state. I hope to have a farm there to use as a center for our educational programs in the near future. I’m also looking forward to riding out into the Vermont countryside on my own horses.”
HER EDUCATION: B.S., University of Massachusetts (physics); D.V.M., Tufts